How to Mount a Bedside Lamp
Our "light whisperer," Randall Whitehead, IALD, explains where to place a bedside swing-arm sconce.
What is the normal height to mount a swing-arm lamp if it is to be used for reading next to a bed?
Of course, there is no simple answer to this question. The optimum location for the swing arm lamp is between your head and your book (or Kindle or laptop). Then the height of the bed and the slouchiness of the reader are also factored in. I tend to like the swing-arm lamps that not only adjust from east to west but also from north to south. This gives you the most flexibility and allows a couple to mount their reading lamps at matching heights even if their reading positions differ. I actually make the client get into bed to measure the correct height. I am the “light whisperer.”
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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